Introduction to Composting

Composting is a fantastic way to help the environment, and create compost for your garden. Much of the organic waste (ie. Food) thrown away from the kitchen can be put into your compost bin, and turned into a great soil improver.

Ideally your compost bin should be situated in a sunny position, as the warmth from the sun will help to break down your compost more quickly – although if this is not possible, the compost bin can be situated anywhere.

Your compost needs good aeration to work well, so make sure you layer your organic waste. Try to put different types of organic matter into your compost, so have a 5cm layer of food waste, followed by a 5cm layer of scrunched up newspaper. This will allow the air to circulate amongst the compost.

If you have any vegetarian animals, the bedding from these goes really well in a composter. I must emphasize that your bedding should be from non meat eating animals, otherwise your compost bin will smell really bad.

The warmer the composter is, the quicker the compost will be produced. The black plastic compost bins which can be purchased are ideal as they really warm up in the sun. During the hot summer months you could compost within a couple of months. The bacteria making your compost will really slow down in the winter months, so you will probably have to wait for spring to use the compost.

Having more than one composter is best, so when one bin fills up, you can let the bacteria and worms work on it, while you start the next bin.

The following are good materials to put on your compost:

  • Kitchen waste (not cooked meats, as it attracts rats)
  • Animal bedding
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden waste (not weeds, as the seeds may germinate)

Contrary to popular belief, you should not get any unpleasant smells from composting. If yours does start to smell, try varying the ingredients you add. Too much solid waste (like kitchen waste) will cause the compost to be produced more slowly, causing the smell.

Source by John W Ellis

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